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Be mused…

Space Before Text

Tab Journal re-envisions literary cultural production using design thinking; publishes work that represents a range of aesthetics and stages of career; and strives to create increasingly inclusive and accessible poetry reading experiences both in print and online.

Founded in 2012 by poet and nonfiction writer Anna Leahy and designer Claudine JaenichenTab Journal is an international poetry periodical. Tab Journal’s tagline “space before text” announces that design of both text and space create various poetry reading experiences. Inclusive experiences begin with design—of policies, of practices, of pages, of poems.

Tab Journal publishes an innovatively designed print issue every January. Online issues appear in March, May, July, September, and November. The May issue features winners of the California Coastal Commission K-12 poetry contest.

Take a look at our Design Statement. We think about text, space, and form as we create the distinctive reading experience of Tab Journal. In addition, we strive to design an increasingly inclusive literary space and to welcome voices and perspectives of those who have been underrepresented in publishing. No-cost submission and no-cost access to issues are among our inclusion-driven policies.In 2019, we redesigned the website, revised our style guide with low vision standards, and updated the archives for increased accessibility. In 2021, the Poetry Foundation awarded Tab Journal a grant to work toward greater inclusion; as a result, we welcomed two paid Contributing Editors: Ruben Quesada and Lynne Thompson.

Our Staff includes faculty in creative writing, graphic design, and literature. As Assistant Editors, Chapman University MFA in Creative Writing students and alums participate in the editorial process and write book reviews. We added a Communications Coordinator in fall 2021.

The print issue is distributed to all past contributors, at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference and literary festivals, and to classrooms and libraries. Teachers and librarians can contact us to request copies. While Tab Journal accepts charitable contributions, we ordinarily do not charge for copies.

Tab Journal is housed at Tabula Poetica: The Center for Poetry at Chapman University and is supported by Chapman University. The journal and center have received a grant from the Poetry Foundation and Poets & Writers in addition to internal institutional grants.

Sample images of different issues